Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed reported that number of people screened as part of the “100 Million Healthy Lives” initiative has totaled 27.8 million since October 2018, adding that the government aims to screen and treat the entire Egyptian population.
Zayed clarified that the ministry screened 14.7 million people during the second stage of the initiate which aims to eliminate Hepatitis C and provide early detection of the virus, alongside eliminating other diseases such as diabetes and those related to obesity.
She added that the ministry has been training a 1765-person medical team including physicians, pharmacists, administrative staff and data entry specialists on Wednesday for one week in the National Training Institute to work on the campaign.
The screening campaign for Hepatitis C began earlier this year, targeting people aged 19 to 59 for scanning through PCR tests. Those testing positive for the disease are expected to undergo further check-ups, and will be provided free medication.
Egypt has the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the world, first surfacing in the 1950s due to unsterilized injections. The highly-infectious blood borne virus kills an estimated 40,000 Egyptians a year, and at least 1 in 10 of the population aged 15-59 are infected, according to the World Health Organization.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm